Dr. Katherine Simpson, FCIArb., is an arbitrator based in London (33 Bedford Row) and in the US (Simpson Dispute Resolution).  Her practice focusses on private and public international law.  She is experienced in in-person, virtual, and "on the documents"-proceedings. 

With over twelve years of tribunal-side experience in international dispute resolution, Dr. Simpson has served in high value and complex cases conducted ad hoc and under most institutional rules, including those of the International Chamber of Commerce (“ICC”), London Court of International Arbitration (“LCIA”), Dubai International Arbitration Centre (“DIAC”), the German Institution of Arbitration (“DIS”), and the Chinese European Arbitration Centre (“CEAC”).  She has served in ad hoc arbitrations under the United Nations Commission on International Trade Law (“UNCITRAL”) Rules (2010) and in investor-state arbitrations before the Stockholm Chamber of Commerce (“SCC”) and the International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes (“ICSID”).

Dr. Simpson’s arbitration practice includes service as Tribunal Secretary in over 50 commercial and investment cases chaired by Prof. Dr. Karl-Heinz Böckstiegel, Prof. William (Rusty) Park, Ms. Edna Sussman, and Prof. Klaus Peter Berger, and in labor and employment cases chaired by Prof. Homer C. La Rue.  These cases had amounts in controversy of up to US$2.6 billion.  Several of these these matters have become the most influential arbitration cases of the past decade, including ICC 24156 (shortlisted for Global Arbitration Review’s (GAR) Most Influential Damages Award, 2012), Bear Creek v. Peru (ICSID 14/21) (elaborating the need for a “social license” to conduct business) and UP v. Hungary (ICSID 13/35) (GAR’s “Most Important Award” of 2019, regarding the ECJ’s Achmea Decision's impact on ICSID jurisdiction).

Dr. Simpson is an arbitrator and does not provide barrister services. 

Arbitration & Mediation

Arbitration & Mediation

Dr. Simpson has experience in a variety of high and low value international disputes.  Recent case examples include:

  • Confidential, AAA-ICDR arbitration between three privately owned entities, concerning the termination of a joint venture. (Sole Arbitrator, virtual hearing)
  • Confidential, multiple cases concerning tourism, travel, force majeure, the COVID-19 pandemic.  (Sole Arbitrator, virtual and/or "on the documents"-proceedings)
  • Confidential, U.S. labor arbitrations. (Associate Arbitrator to Prof. Homer C. La Rue)
  • ICC 24176, anti-trust and patent licensing dispute between multi-national telecommunications companies, for $700 million. (Chair: Edna Sussman)
  • ICC 24434, patent licensing dispute between two multi-national telecommunications companies, for US$100 - $700 million. (Chair: Edna Sussman)
  • Confidential, UNCITRAL ad hoc arbitration between an oil and gas exploration company (Claimant) and a state-owned joint stock corporation (Respondent 1) and its state-owned shareholder (Respondent 2), for US$1.8 billion. (Chair: William W. Park)
  • ICC 15416, concerning PDVSA-Cerro Negro’s commitment to indemnify Mobil Cerro Negro in the event of any expropriation or seizure of its interests by Venezuela. Amount in controversy: $2.5 billion. (Chair: Karl-Heinz Böckstiegel) (shortlisted GAR 2012 “Most Influential Damages Decision”)



Dr. Simpson has served in several investor-state disputes, and also has experence in commercial cases involving state-owned or state-related enterprizes.  Her experience in investor-state matters includes cases related to the hospitality industry, renewable energy, mining, oil & gas, construction financial services, most-favoured nation treatment, expropriation, and financial disputes.  The publically available cases that she has worked on include:

  • SCC 116/2010, between investors Stati et al (Claimants) and Kazakhstan, related to the alleged expropriation of Claimants’ oil and gas investment in Kazakhstan, valued at US$ 2.6 billion. (Chair: Karl-Heinz Böckstiegel)
  • ICSID Case No. ARB 15/36, an intra-EU Energy Charter Treaty (ECT) matter between OperaFund Eco-Invest SICAV PLC and Schwab Holding (Claimants) and the Kingdom of Spain (Respondent), related to changes to the subsidies for renewable energy in Spain, following the 2008 financial crisis. (Chair: Karl- Heinz Böckstiegel)
  • ICSID Case No. ARB 14/21, between Bear Creek Mining (Claimant) and the Republic of Peru (Respondent), where a lawfully granted mining concession became unusable, owing to the failure of a “social license” to opearte (Chair: Karl-Heinz Böckstiegel)
  • ICSID Case No. ARB 13/35, between UP (Claimant) and Republic of Hungary (Respondent), finding that the ECJ’s Achmea decision did not apply to ICSID cases. (Chair: Karl-Heinz Böckstiegel) (GAR’s 2019 “Most Important Award”)
  • ICSID Case No. ARB 13/12, related to tourism. (Chair: Karl-Heinz Böckstiegel)
  • ICSID Case No. ARB 13/10, related to construction. (Chair: William W. Park)

Dr. Simpson understands the intersections between human rights, commercial transactions, and investor-state dispute settlement, and has lectured on the same with Hon. Bruno Simma, at the University of Michigan Law School.

Dr. Simpson is a Member of the Peer Review Board for ICSID Review - Foreign Investment Law Journal.



Prof. Dr. Karl-Heinz Böckstiegel (2018):  Starting from her time some eight years ago when she was at Cologne University, Katherine Simpson has helped me in many of the commercial and investment cases I chaired, as Secretary or Assistant to the Tribunal. She proved to be highly efficient in supporting my case management, researching sources, or providing narrative drafts for decisions the Tribunal had to make. Other members of the tribunal and the staff of various arbitration institutions appreciated her work and she was well respected by counsel of the parties. Obviously, over the years, she gained a large amount of experience and I have no doubt that, by now, she could efficiently and successfully serve as an arbitrator.

Prof. William W. (Rusty) Park (2018):  Dr. Simpson has been an excellent Tribunal Secretary and has now doubtlessly arrived at the point where she will provide fine service as an efficient and intelligent arbitrator.



Dr. Simpson is an attorney who is admitted to practice law in Maryland and New Jersey, USA.

She is a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators (FCIArb).

Dr. Simpson is experienced in ad hoc and non-administered dispute resolution, and is listed on the following arbitration panels:

  • London Court of International Arbitration (LCIA) (since 2014)
  • International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) (through the United States Council for International Business, USCIB)
  • American Arbitration Association (AAA), International (AAA-ICDR), Commercial, Puerto Rico, and Consumer Panels
  • Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA)
  • International Institute for Conflict Prevention and Resolution (CPR), Panels of Distinguished Neutrals, Energy Panel, Cross-Border Panel
  • Chartered Institute of Arbitrators, Business Appointment Service and Pandemic Business Disruption Panels
  • Hunt ADR, Low Cost Arbitration Service (LCAS)



Vice Chair of the Board of Directors of the Ray Corollary Initiative

Fellow, Chartered Institute of Arbitrators (CIArb), London Branch, North American Branch

Member, American Bar Foundation (ABF)

Member, American Bar Association (ABA)

Member, Lagos Chamber of Commerce International Arbitration Centre (LACIAC)

Member, International Council for Commercial Arbitration (ICCA)

Member, ArbitralWomen

Member, Atlanta International Arbitration Society (AtlAS)

Education and Training

Education and Training

  • Data Science Professional Certificate, Harvard University, HarvardX (presently completing)
  • Doctor of Juridical Sciences (Dr. iur.), international law and banking, University of Cologne, Germany
  • Master’s Degree (LL.M.), international economic law, University of Cologne, Germany
  • Juris Doctor (J.D.), University of Baltimore School of Law, Baltimore, Maryland U.S.
  • Master in European Studies (M.E.S.), Center for European Integration Studies, Bonn, Germany
  • Bachelor / Master’s Degree, Ohio University, Athens, Ohio
  • Hague Academy of International Law, Private International Law, The Hague, The Netherlands



  • English: Native Speaker
  • German: Bilingual
  • French: Reading



The Ray Corollary Initiative was short-listed for a GAR Award 2022 in the Pledge category!  Winners will be announced as part of Paris Arbitration Week.  

Dr. Simpson was quoted in "BigLaw Heavyweights' Feud Highlights Legal Quagmire - Law 360 (February 9, 2022)

"The remedies availabe in arbitration, including the threat that the arbitrator could draw negative inferences or make an adverse cost award against a party, could do little to compel an unrelated nonparty - someone who never consented to arbitrate in the first place - to participate...

But, and as recognized in the parties' briefs, parties choose arbitration in part because arbitrators do not have the same power as judges. ... As this case shows, it is not a foregone conclusion that a court will intervene to provide the additional judicial muscle that is otherwise unavailable in arbitration."

The Ray Corollary Initiative published its End-of Year Report, 2021.  Dr. Simpson was elected to serve as Vice Chair of the Ray Corollary Initiative in late 2021.

In the Institute for Transnational Arbitration series entitled "Preserving Perspectives:  International Arbitrators in Their Own Words", Hon. Gabrielle Kirk McDonald praised Dr. Simpson and Ms. Nancy Thevenin's groundbreaking work on "The New List - Arbitrators of African Descent" 

Eunice Shang-Simpson and Shayda Vance introduced the Arbitrators of African Descent List to ArbitralWomen, with their January article "The New List:  Arbitrators of African Descent with a U.S. Nexus"

In "Fireside Chat with ArbitralWomen President Dana MacGrath", panelists Erika Williams and Dana MacGrath highlighted Dr. Simpson's initiative to increase balance on the CETA Roster, which demonstrated that even individual actions make a difference for diversity.

Dr. Katherine Simpson presented as part of a panel at the September 8, 2020 USCIB/ICC Event "Uses and Misuses of Tribunal Secretaries."  ArbitralWomen Newsletter, Issue 42 .  Dr. Simpson provided this sample appointment text to attendees: Sample Appointment of Administrative Secretary for ICC Cases, September 2020

Global Arbitration Review, "New US List Promotes Arbitrators of African Descent" (4 September 2020)

Response by the European Commission on "CETA  Arbitrator Roster - Where Are the Women?", ArbitralWomen News, July 2020.

Dr. Simpson's work in response to the gender imbalance in the CETA List of Arbitrators was cited by the International Council for Commercial Arbitration's Report of the Cross-Institutional Task Force on Gender Diversity in International Appointments and Proceedings, The ICCA Reports No. 8 (2020).

"Simpson analyzed the credentials of the individuals nominated to the roster and prepared a list of 70 equally qualified women who were similarly eligible to be placed on the list.  She noted that 'there is no shortage of qualified women in international trade law, or in international dispute resolution, generally.' ... the CETA example nevertheless shows that there are occasions where women are failing to be given the same opportunities to obtain arbitral appointments as their male counterparts."

Funke Adekoya SAN, "A 'New' List - Arbitrators of African Descent" (African Arbitration Association) (26 June 2020), available at 

Africa Legal, "A New List of Arbitrators", (24 June 2020), available at 

African Arbitration Association, Funke Adekoya SAN is included in newly created List of Arbitrators of African Descent (19 June 2020), available at 

Women Leaders in Arbitration, an Interview with Katherine Simpson, ArbitralWomen Newsletter, Issue 39, April 2020

Katherine Simpson, "Developments in International Arbitration:  Keeping the Promises of a New Era", ArbitralWomen News, Issue 38 (March 2020)

Barry Leon, "Chairpersons for CETA state-to-state disputes.  Where are the women, Canada?", The Lawyer's Daily, 10 March 2020

Global Arbitration Review, GAR Awards 2020 - the Pledge Award (19 February 2020)

Dana MacGrath, "CETA List of Arbitrators - Where are the Women?", ArbitralWomen News, 28 January 2020

Teaching Experience

Teaching Experience

University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, Michigan USA (2016 - Present)

  • Adjunct Clinical Assistant Professor, Legal Research, Writing, and Analysis (2016 - 2020) and International Commercial Arbitration (2019)
  • Academic Affiliate, conducting research in investor-state dispute settlement (2018 - Present)

University of Bucharest, Bucharest, Romania (2015, 2016)

  • Visiting Professor, International Commercial Arbitration

University of Cologne, Cologne, Germany (2009 - 2013)

  • Coach, Telders International Law Moot Court Team 
  • Coach, Foreign Direct Investment Law Moot Court Team 
  • Coach, Willem C. Vis International Commercial Arbitration Moot Court Team



  • National Center for Technology and Dispute Resolution, Online Dispute Resolution (“ODR”) CyberWeek 2021, Co-Presenter, “Fake Smarts and Algowrongs:  What to do with creepy AI” (Nov. 4, 2021)
  • Improving Diversity in Arbitration, Co-Presenter on improving diversity in international arbitration (Nov. 2, 2021)
  • Peggy Browning Fund,National Law Students Worker’s Rights Conference, Co-Presenter, “ADR:  All Disputes Resolved – Wishful Thinking” (Oct. 16, 2021)
  • Practicing Law Institute ("PLI"), International Arbitration 2021 (June 22, 2021)
  • AELEX Arbitration Month, "Construction and Engineering Arbitration:  Efficiently Resolving International Construction Disputes" (March 11, 2021).
  • University of Lausanne, "Social License and Dispute Resolution in the Extractive Industries" (February 19, 2021)
  • 9th Annual Arbitration and Investment Summit - Caribbean, Latin America and Other Emerging Markets 2021 - A Clear Vision for Your Future, "How sanitized are arbitral awards?  Privacy vs. Confidentiality - What is the New Normal?" (January 28, 2021)
  • International, Comparative, Foreign and Domestic:  A Virtual Gathering of Friends, University of Toledo College of Law, Presenter, "Which Side Are You On?  The Diversity Dividend" (January 22, 2021)
  • Cairo Regional Centre for International Commercial Arbitration ("CRCICA"), "Online Arbitration:  Best Practices and Avoiding Pitfalls - Full Course", virtual course, guest speaker (November 2020)
  • Caribbean ADR Initiative ("CADRIn") Connect Webinar "Document Management in Arbitration" (November 25, 2020)
  • Equal Representation in Arbitration, "Push for Parity:  Practical Tools for Emerging Arbitrators" (November 17, 2020)
  • American Society of International Law ("ASIL"), Africa Interest Group and the Institute for Dispute Resolution of New Jersey City University, "Diversity in the Legal Profession", virtual event, panelist. (November 13, 2020)
  • XII ABA Conference on the Resolution of CIS-Related Business Disputes, "E-Advocacy:  Practical Issues and Tips on Using Remote Technology for Hearings" virtual presentation (September 2020)
  • USCIB / ICC USA Sole Practitioners' Group, "Uses and Misuses of Tribunal Secretaries", virtual event (September 8, 2020)
  • United States Council for International Business, Minneapolis, Minnesota, U.S., Expedited Arbitration Proceedings 
  • University of Michigan Law School, Ann Arbor, Michigan U.S.
    • U.S. and U.K. Practices in International Arbitration (with Paul Rose) (2019)
    • Researching While Outside of “Academia” (Undergraduate Research Opportunity Program) (2019, 2020)
    •  International Human Rights Law (with Judge Bruno Simma) (2018)
  • XI American Bar Association / Russian Arbitration Association Conference, Moscow, Russia, Panel Moderator,  "Tribunal Secretaries in International Arbitration" (September 2019)
  • Financing, Structuring & Investing in Litigation Finance, NYC, New York U.S., Panel member, “Regulation, Compliance and Ethical Considerations”
  • Skills and Cultures: The Road Ahead for International Arbitration, Atlanta International Arbitration Society Conference, Atlanta, Georgia U.S., Panel member, “Americas Tertulia”, Cultural and Ethical Considerations



CETA – Where Are the Women?  Diffusing the Thought-Terminating Clichés That Impeded Diversity in Sustainable Diversity in International Arbitration (Edward Elgar Publishing, 2022, forthcoming) (with Dr. Anthony Scott Marcum)

UNCITRAL and Online Dispute Resolution (ODR) in Elgar Companion on UNCITRAL (Edward Elgar Publishing, 2022, forthcoming) 

Are Rosters a Solution to the Lack of Diversity of Arbitrators and Women in Arbitration in Edward Elgar International Economic Law Encyclopedia (2022, forthcoming)

Conclusion in Social License & Dispute Resolution in the Extractive Industries (Boston: Brill, 2021)

The Commission’s Priority: ‘A Balanced and Progressive Trade Policy to Harness Globalization in Politicizing EU Policies – The Juncker Commission 2014 – 2019 (Nomos, 2020)

International Arbitration in the U.S. in Handbook on U.S. Law (Hart Nomos Beck, 2020)

Arbitrator ‘Intelligence’ and the Mysterious Brown M&M, 52 U. Tol. L. Rev. 27 (2021)

The Diversity Dividend, 52 U. Tol. L. Rev. 447 (2021)

Cleaning Up After A Self-Coup: A Case for Reconciliation (JURIST – Academic Commentary, 18 Jan. 2021) (with Anthony Marcum) (available at:

International Commercial Arbitration Diversity: The Numbers Are Askew (JURIST – Professional Commentary, 17 June 2020).  (available at: diversity-part2/).

"Schiedsgerichtsbarkeit in den USA – Recht und Praxis." In US-Rechtspraxis, edited by Kirk W. Junker, 145-73. De Gruyter Praxishandbuch. Berlin: De Gruyter, 2017.  (translated:  International Commercial Arbitration – Intersections with U.S. Law in Handbook for U.S. Law (de Gruyter, 2017))

Financial Inclusion & Consumer Empowerment – US and EU Legislation & International Soft Law (Frankfurt School Verlag, 2015)

UNCITRAL arbitral tribunal, in unpublicized ruling, finds that Chinese BIT extends to Macao under “moving treaty frontiers” rule (Investment Arbitration Reporter (IA Reporter), 21 July 2014)

Arbitrators say China BIT allows them to determine if expropriation occurred, but MFN can't be used to broaden jurisdiction further (IA Reporter, 21 July 2014) (with Luke Eric Peterson)

Annulment is not an appeal: ICSID ad hoc committee dismisses Paraguay's application to annul SGS v. Paraguay award (IA Reporter, 13 June 2014)

its local business partner (Minnotte & Lewis v. Poland) (IA Reporter, 6 June 2014) (with Luke Eric Peterson)

Recourse to negotiating papers leads arbitrators to conclude that Indonesia intended to offer advance consent to arbitrate in its BIT with the UK (IA Reporter, 27 Feb. 2014)

Tribunal rules that Australia BIT does not express advance consent to arbitration; a dozen other Australian treaties are worded similarly (IA Reporter, 27 Feb. 27, 2014) (with Luke Eric Peterson)

UNCITRAL tribunal makes "abuse of process" finding in face of belated move to take on foreign ownership in order to press claims against state (IA Reporter, 25 Feb. 2014) (with Luke Eric Peterson)

In now-available UNCITRAL award, tribunal chaired by Brigitte Stern says that MFN clause cannot be used to broaden jurisdiction of Germany-Bulgaria treaty (IA Reporter, 25 Feb. 2014) (with Luke Eric Peterson)

Bulgaria obtains enforcement of costs award; court dismisses investor's belated allegation of arbitrator bias due to issue-conflict (IA Reporter, 14 Feb. 2014) (with Luke Eric Peterson)

Massachusetts v. EPA: Supreme Court Ruling Spurs Green Investment, 14 U. Balt. J. Env. L. 189 (Spring 2007)